Beef Stew, Take Two: With Beer

Not too long ago I shared a beef stew recipe. K really wanted a beef stew with beer. While I was planning our dinner for the week, I came across some similar recipes with beer and decided to do a version of the one I made before, but with a couple changes. This one might have required a bit less work. Just a bit. All in all, they were similar, but I enjoyed it and had improved my beef stew technique in making this. Now I can say I have mastered the basic beef stew! I used a Newcastle Brown Ale because that is what I was able to find for a decent price (we’re not beer drinkers), but you could play around with different varieties and find your favorite.

Beef Stew with Beer

Now, it’s not mandatory, but I do recommend this stew with mashed potatoes. It is a bit runny, so you might need a bowl, but it works so well poured over the fluffy potatoes.

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Some changes I liked in this version: the broth seemed to have a bit more flavor. You couldn’t taste the beer, but it definitely provided a roundness. The other change was with my bay leaves. I used two, but next time will only use one. I recently bought new bay leaves and decided to get a brand that cost a bit more but looked really big and fresh, even though they were dried. I guess these really are fresher than the cheaper ones I usually buy. I don’t know if I’ve ever realized what flavor good bay leaves can provide! I recommend looking for a rich green color and the leaves should not feel super brittle. These were excellent! The flavor was a bit strong with both leaves, so that is why I said to use just one. If yours aren’t as potent, you can add more.

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Directions for Beef Stew with Beer

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (trim off the silvery skin and excess far, then cut into 1-2 inch cubes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large onions)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 12 ounces beer (preferably a Belgian copper ale, or ale of some sort)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf

Used Later in the Recipe:

  • 5-6 carrots, cleaned and chopped into thin coins
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Move the oven racks as necessary to fit a large oven and stovetop-safe pot, like a Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the beef if necessary, then season with salt and pepper. Add a tiny bit of oil to the pot, and turn the heat to medium-high. Brown the meat in batches, keeping the batches small. Transfer the browned batches to a bowl until ready to use. Add more oil as necessary to keep the beef from sticking.

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Once all of the meat is cooked, add the chopped onions, a bit of salt, and the tomato paste to the pot.

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If needed, add more oil. Cook the onion for about 15 minutes until it softens and begins to caramelize.

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Then, stir in the garlic. After 1 minute, add the flour, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.

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Slowly add the beef broth, scraping up browned bits.

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Add the beer, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef (along with any juices from the beef bowl). Add some additional salt and pepper at this time, to taste. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and place in the oven for 1 hour.

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After the hour, add the carrots along with a bit more pepper (salt if you think it is necessary).

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Cover and continue to cook in the oven until the beef is tender (an additional hour). At this time, you can bring the pot out of the oven and let it cool enough to put it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, you can put it in a storage container and freeze it for 1 month. You can remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs at this point so that you don’t have to remember them later.

When ready to have the soup, simply bring it back up to a low simmer, remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs if you haven’t already, and then add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat when it is hot enough, then stir in the peas and let the pot sit (covered) for 5 minutes.

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Give one last stir then serve.

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Directions for Beef Stew with Beer (without pictures)

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (trim off the silvery skin and excess far, then cut into 1-2 inch cubes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large onions)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 12 ounces beer (preferably a Belgian copper ale, or ale of some sort)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf

Used Later in the Recipe:

  • 5-6 carrots, cleaned and chopped into thin coins
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Move the oven racks as necessary to fit a large oven and stovetop-safe pot, like a Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the beef if necessary, then season with salt and pepper. Add a tiny bit of oil to the pot, and turn the heat to medium-high. Brown the meat in batches, keeping the batches small. Transfer the browned batches to a bowl until ready to use. Add more oil as necessary to keep the beef from sticking.

Once all of the meat is cooked, add the chopped onions, a bit of salt, and the tomato paste to the pot. If needed, add more oil. Cook the onion for about 15 minutes until it softens and begins to caramelize. Then, stir in the garlic. After 1 minute, add the flour, cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Slowly add the beef broth, scraping up browned bits. Add the beer, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef (along with any juices from the beef bowl). Add some additional salt and pepper at this time, to taste. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and place in the oven for 1 hour.

After the hour, add the carrots along with a bit more pepper (salt if you think it is necessary). Cover and continue to cook in the oven until the beef is tender (an additional hour). At this time, you can bring the pot out of the oven and let it cool enough to put it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, you can put it in a storage container and freeze it for 1 month. You can remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs at this point so that you don’t have to remember them later.

When ready to have the soup, simply bring it back up to a low simmer, remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs if you haven’t already, and then add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat when it is hot enough, then stir in the peas and let the pot sit (covered) for 5 minutes. Give one last stir then serve.

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4 thoughts on “Beef Stew, Take Two: With Beer

  1. So timely for St Patrick’s Day! And I’ve never been able to taste bay leaves, but I throw them in as per every stew recipe. Wish I could get my hands on some of yours!

  2. Pingback: Tips-y Tuesdays: Better Beef for Slow-Cooking and Stews | fudgingahead

  3. Pingback: Mixed Bag Mondays (part 15): Dark Beer Recipes | fudgingahead

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